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Papa ou maman: open war between the lovebirds

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- Marina Foïs and Laurent Lafitte steal the show in Martin Bourboulon’s dark comedy; Amour fou by Jessica Haussner is also hitting screens

Papa ou maman: open war between the lovebirds
Papa ou maman by Martin Bourboulon

Ever since Welcome to the Sticks [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
in 2008, French comedy films have regularly been racking up considerable successes abroad (Untouchable [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Le Prénom [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Serial (Bad) Weddings [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and perhaps La Famille Bélier [+see also:
trailer
making of
film profile
]
this year). This is a phenomenon that is relatively unheard of for a European film industry in which comedy often remains an extremely national affair, and today this trend sees a new prototype hitting screens: Papa ou maman [+see also:
trailer
making of
film profile
]
. Released by Pathé in over 550 theatres, the feature debut by Martin Bourboulon has achieved the “feat” of being popular with the entirety of the press, and the critics who are generally the most hostile towards French comedy have even gone so far as to admit that the movie is “enjoyable”.

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Portraying a gratifying parade of dirty tricks between a model husband and wife who have decided to get divorced and are doing everything in their power in order not to get custody of the children, Papa ou maman owes a great deal to its two fine lead actors (Marina Foïs and Laurent Lafitte) and its impressive screenplay written by Matthieu Delaporte and Alexandre de La Patellière (from an original idea by Guillaume Clicquot). “When there is a divorce, the father and mother often quarrel and find it difficult to strike a balance between their adult life and their parental role. It’s terrible because the children end up becoming the hostages in a match between their parents. We therefore thought that we could portray that same mean spirit but aimed at achieving the mirror opposite,” explains Matthieu Delaporte. “Because obviously, children are not the cause of divorce; first and foremost it’s a crisis between a man and a woman who claim they no longer love each other, but who cannot go the whole hog and split up.” This no-holds-barred match is produced by Chapter 2 in co-production with Pathé, M6 Films, Jouror Productions, Fargo Films and Belgian outfits Nexus Factory and Umedia, in addition to pre-purchases by Canal+ and Ciné+.

This Wednesday, Jour2Fête is releasing 40 copies of the splendid Amour fou [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Austria’s Jessica Hausner, revealed in Un Certain Regard at Cannes (read the review), and KMBO is bringing out 28 copies of the British-Irish co-production Frank [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Lenny Abrahamson (which garnered five nominations at the BIFA Awards and won two prizes, including Best Screenplay). Also of note is Love Is Blind [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Estonian director Ilmar Raag (read the review – distributed by TS Productions across seven screens) and the German production Kaddish pour un ami by Leo Khasin (Septième Factory in three cinemas). 

As the school holidays get under way, three attractive animated films are being added to the cinema listings: the Australian-German production Maya the Bee Movie [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Alexs Stadermann (425 theatres courtesy of La Belle Company, a new distribution outfit headed by Nicolas Rihet and Marc-Antoine Pineau), the 3D Franco-Belgian co-production Yellowbird... Ready for take off [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Christian de Vita (produced by Team TO – graphical elements by Benjamin Renner - Haut et Court Distribution in 200 cinemas), and the Finnish-French title Moomins on the Riviera [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Xavier Picard and Hanna Hemilä (Gebeka Films across 73 screens). 

Also worth highlighting among the 18 (!) new releases are The Days Come [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Romain Goupil (read the articleLes Films du Losange in 50 theatres) and Pitchipoï [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Charles Najman (produced and distributed by Sedna Films), as well as three documentaries: Two Years at Sea by Ben Rivers (Norte Distribution), Le paradis de Sandra by Marianne Roussy-Moreau (Les Films du Voilier) and Territoire de la liberté by Alexandre Kouznetsov (Aloest Distribution).

(Translated from French)

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